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Guillermo del Toro criticizes Oscars telecast changes

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) have been met with a wave of backlash in the past week when they made the controversial decision that the winner results for eight categories will announced ahead of the broadcast portion of the Oscars ceremony, meaning those winner speeches won’t be shown live on air.

Former Best Director winner Guillermo del Toro is just one of the many voices in the industry that’s not happy about the new changes being made this year. While he was accepting the Filmmaking Achievement Award from the Hollywood Critics Association (HCA), the director seized the opportunity to speak his mind about the decision.

We don’t do [movies] alone, we do them together, and the people that made them with us, they were risking everything in a pandemic,” he said. “If any year was the year to think about, this was not the year not to hear their names live at the Oscars. This is the year to say it — and say it loud.”

Del Toro encouraged everyone in the room to take action and to speak out against the changes in the hopes that the Academy will revert their decisions. “Many of you that have a voice and that can say it should say, ‘We should not do that,’” he continued. “We shouldn’t do it this year. We shouldn’t do it ever, but this year we are together in this. The art is good. Every time we say something we invoke a whole reality with it, and we must say that this, 2021, was a f—ing great year for movies.”

In an interview this week with Deadline, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson responded to the matter by stating, “The board has discussed and agreed on the need to make changes to the broadcast, to allow for a celebratory show that also doesn’t ​run well over ​three hours. That discussion has been ongoing but with more urgency for this year’s show”. She continued by saying, “The decision to show eight categories in our first hour in the Dolby Theatre was the creative solution arrived at by our producers, our officers, and our awards committee. We chose a mix of categories which would then be folded into our live broadcast.”

In an effort to embrace a sense of understanding, the Academy has been having discussions over Zoom with several nominees and branch members that have been affected due to the changes in this year’s broadcast.

Speaking to Deadline writer Pete Hammond, Academy president David Rubin said. “Well, we really want to see what works this year. We acknowledge that it’s something that we’re trying. And you mentioned the various things that have been tried before, but no one has tried this.” He finished by saying, “It made a great deal of sense to us because we can deliver the full nominee experience for all the people being honored. And we stand a good chance to deliver.”

But obviously not every nominee is on board with the decision. In an interview with Gold Derby, Best Editing nominee Pamela Martin (“King Richard”) said she felt the move was a short-sighted attempt to increase viewership. “I don’t think they’re going to gain more viewers by doing this. People who don’t watch the Oscars are not interested in this sort of thing,” she said. “So it’s a little disappointing. And the fact that they’re spending more screentime on Twitter-voted best awards at the expense of the production designers or editors or short films being in the live show in the way we’re accustomed to is disappointing as well.”

The 94th Oscars will be presented on March 27, 2022 in the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, and will be hosted by Amy Schumer, Regina Hall, and Wanda Sykes. ABC will broadcast the ceremony this year.

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